Tropical Rooibos Cooler Recipe

Tropical Rooibos Cooler Mocktails overlooking the ocean
James Bowyer / Getty Images
  • 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 serving

LaCroix is a favorite sparkling water that offers great flavors and it makes an excellent addition to mixed drinks. The Tropical Rooibos Cooler features one of those flavors in a fruity iced tea. It's a fun and simple recipe that is a mocktail but can easily become a cocktail whenever you like.

The Tropical Rooibos Cooler has a lot of flavors and it's a rather healthy drink, too. The rooibos tea (or red tea) is naturally caffeine-free and the juice blend is filled with tropical goodness. The sparkling water has no sugar, additives, or any of that other stuff we're told to stay away from. Even the syrup is made with natural ingredients.

It all comes together quite nicely to create a very refreshing beverage. This is not one of those super sweet or overly fruity drinks. Instead, it falls on the drier side thanks to the all-natural sparkle of LaCroix.

What You'll Need

  • 3 ounces freshly brewed rooibos tea, chilled
  • 1 1/2 ounces Dole Pine-Orange Banana Juice
  • 1/2 ounce KISS Lemon Zest Syrup
  • LaCroix Cúrate Mel​ón Pomelo Sparkling Water

How to Make It

  1. Pour the chilled rooibos tea, juice, and lemon syrup into a highball glass filled with ice.
  2. Top with LaCroix Cúrate Melón Pomelo.

Spike It If You Want

This fruity iced tea is great as is and it's also the perfect base for whatever liquor you'd like to pour into it. It's as versatile as the orange juice-grenadine mix of the Virgin Sunrise, which can be enhanced with tequila, whiskey, or vodka. 

Almost any base spirit will work in this recipe, so try your favorite whiskey, rum, tequila, or vodka.

Gin is very interesting as well, particularly some of the new botanical blends like The Botanist and Bloom.

If you'd like to get a little wild, toss in a shot of mezcal. The slight woodiness of rooibos is the most interesting pairing with the smoke of mezcal.

Why We Love Mixing With LaCroix

Melón Pomelo is one of the great fruit blends found in LaCroix's Cúrate collection of sparkling waters. These have a more intense flavor than the brand's other waters, which is why they're perfect for cocktails. This one, in particular, is a natural blend of pink grapefruit and cantaloupe and it's quite the lively drink on its own.

Soon after LaCroix was released it became one of the most popular sparkling waters on the market. Each is flavored naturally and the nutrition label is a bunch of zeroes. That means there's no calories, fat, sodium, carbs, sugar, and they also don't use artificial flavors or colors.

What you taste in LaCroix is the real thing. It has a drier profile than sodas and is a bit like tonic water or club soda. Don't hesitate to switch to LaCroix for either of those to add flavor to a recipe. You can also use it to replace sugary sodas in your cocktails. Flavored sparkling waters are a fabulous addition to any bar and LaCroix is one of the best.

More Tips for a Great Tropical Rooibos Cooler

The Rooibos Tea. It's often called "red tea," and rooibos is technically not a tea at all. Rather than the tea plant, rooibos comes from the "red bush" of South Africa. It naturally contains no caffeine, which makes it a great alternative any time you want tea without the caffeine high.

Rooibos has an interesting flavor because it's earthy and has an almost woody tone. If you're a whiskey fan, some rooibos may even remind you of the smoke found in scotch. It's definitely a tea that does not get lost in the background of mixed drinks.

For the best rooibos tea, use the hot brewing method and chill it in the refrigerator for at least half an hour. Be sure to follow the recommended brewing times for the rooibos you're using. Quite often, it's around 3 to 4 minutes.

The Juice. A very specific juice is used in this mixed drink because the blend is too much fun to pass up. Dole Pineapple Orange Banana Juice is available in many grocery stores though you can mimic it with individual juices if you like. The trickiest part of that will be finding banana juice on its own, which really makes the difference in the Tropical Rooibos Cooler.

In a pinch, look for a similar tropical juice blend and see how you like it.

The Syrup. KISS stands for "Keep It Simple Syrup," a brand of small-batch simple syrups. While it's true that you can make your own, if you're going to buy a lemon syrup, this is one of the best options around. 

KISS Lemon Zest is perfectly balanced in the tart flavor and sweetness. It's fantastic with hot or cold tea and that pairing is what initially inspired the Tropical Rooibos Cooler.